SHANGHAI—China's demand for polyurethane products slipped slightly below trend line growth in 2013, said Frank Doerner, vice president polyurethanes, commercial operations China.
Speaking in an interview with Urethanes Technology International, a sister publication of Rubber & Plastics News, Doerner put demand growth at "around 8 percent in 2013" compared with "trend line growth of around 10 percent."
Doerner reiterated the mid-2014 timeline for the completion of a 150,000 ton-per-year methylene diphenyl diisocyanate debottlenecking at Bayer's site at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park. He didn't expand on the need for further expansion at the site.
"The market is healthy," he said. "We will find the right time to consider investments."
Like much of the world, Doerner said that polyurethane demand in China is being driven by by building regulations and the automotive sector. He pointed out that there is an understanding of the need for insulation in buildings in the north of China, but that has yet to be determined in the south of the country.
The focus is on keeping buildings warm in winter, but, he said, there is a need to keep them cool in summer too.
The automotive sector offers plenty of growth opportunities, he said. Doerner said around 58 out of 1,000 in China own cars, and that of the people who do not own cars, around 80 percent of those want one.